Everybody, Everywhere: Lace (with an exploration of celebrity culture and sartorial choice)

Back in March, People StyleWatch editor Susan Kaufman presented the results of a study of 2,000 women ages 18 to 49, regarding how celebrity style influences their own dressing habits. Three-quarters of women admitted to getting ideas of how to dress from celebrities, while two-thirds said they get ideas of how to dress from celebrities over runway models. Three-quarters of the women also said they would spend more for something if they see a celebrity wearing that item. This is especially true for jeans, since expensive jeans (say, $250) are never going to be as expensive as designer handbags (say, $1,400). "They will pay more for premium denim if they see a celebrity wearing it," Kaufman said. But the female psyche's connection to denim goes deeper than that, it seems:
“Some 48 percent of women said they are more excited getting jeans on sale than having sex,” she said.
The survey went on to uncover more about the style habits of the poll participants. 75% of women admitted they directly copy celebrity styles, while 67% said they get wardrobe inspiration from celebs over runway models. 75% also said they would be willing to pay more for an item if they catch a celebrity wearing it.

It's true that I was left agape over the fact that half of the women surveyed valued a sale price on jeans over an orgasm. As a self-declared cheapskate and thriftaholic, I've well aware of the euphoric high one can get when you uncover a great pair of jeans for substantially less than retail price. But I was more struck by the considerable influence celebrity culture has over personal style.

In a society that largely obsesses about entertainment and celebrity culture, celebrities can have a powerful impact on a person's life. From fashion trends to political views, the attractiveness of a celebrity's lifestyle can affect people's beliefs, interests and behaviors. Some historians credit the rise of mass celebrity culture in America to the early 20th century. Between 1900 and 1929, the entertainment industry in New York flourished through the emergence of different forms of entertainment, including opera, vaudeville, radio and film. As a result, many Americans became infatuated with celebrities and contributed to a new, consumer-based culture that continues today.

In addition, as the 20th century progressed, Americans placed less importance on the role of religion in their lives. The percentage of secular Americans grew by 110 percent between 1990 and 2000, while Christians only increased their ranks a measly 5 percent. Some historians believe that the worship of celebrity culture replaced the influence of religion, substituting wardrobe and wealth for religious relics. Neal Gabler, entertainment scholar, author, journalist and political commentator, writes in his book Life: The Movie, that American society sees celebrities as “icons on their way to apotheosis”, that we “seek . . . exegeses of their lives as if they are sacred texts” and revere “artifacts as if they were relics.” Britney’s chewing gum on Ebay, anyone? Furthermore, this obsession with celebrity culture often starts at an early age. Many children and teens are infatuated with young, pop-culture icons. They think of celebrities as role models and may choose to imitate them.

I find it fascinating that such a substantial percentage of women turn to celebrities to influence their personal sense of style, replacing it altogether with what the latest movie, pop or television star is wearing. It's not difficult to see evidence of celebrity influence on fashion trends of late. From the "Rachel" haircut of the nineties, to Rhianna's pointy structured shoulder pads, to Angelina Jolie's edgy glamour combining tattoos and couture, to Rachel Zoe's seventies-inspired flared jeans and oversized sunglasses, celebrities have been responsible for some of the biggest trends in the fashion world today.

You could argue that my outfit today clearly displays influence from a number of celebrities. Madonna's Like A Virgin phase popularized exposed underwear; the skinny cargo pants became last summer's blockbuster trend after Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer garner were spotted in them. Armloads of bracelets are a signature Rachel Zoe look. And both Alexa Chung and Blake Lively have been spotted in lace dresses and blouses this spring.

However, the combination of all of the above is uniquely my own. I don't rely much on celebrity style - I certainly can't see it replacing my own sartorial choices. But popular trends spread by celebrity culture are hard to ignore. Now I ask you - are you influenced by celebrity culture? Do you ever look towards celebrities for style inspiration? How much weight do you place on trends embraces by starlets and movie stars?

Forever 21 lace top: Gap Outlet cargos; Forever 21 sports bra; Lucky Brand wedges; TIKKR watch; Charming Charlie bracelets; Forever 21 cross earring


  1. Oh my, you are absolutely stunning! Your haircut and hair color are just perfect!

    I love certain celebrities style - Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez come to mind immediately. If I feel as if I could wear their looks well, I would try almost anything they try, although I rarely do simply for financial reasons. I definitely put weight on the trends celebrities pick up - simply because when they do they usually hit the stores in cute, affordable versions versus the less street-wear friendly off the runway version.

  2. I've made a conscious decision to stop buying fashion and gossip magazines as well as reading various Internet sites laden with celebrity gossip.
    Just yesterday while waiting for a friend at a coffee shop I picked up a coy of InStyle to pass the time. Page after page of commercials, most of them with one celebrity actress or another promoting fragrances, cosmetics and whatnot. I was more convinced than ever that I had made the right decision. These days my inspiration comes from real people, the bloggers I follow, mostly from the DIY community. Sewing my own clothes as well as designing jewellery has really changed my perspective.

  3. I love love love the bright pop of pink underneath the top, and I love the top as well! You look amazing!
    Re: celebrity style, there was a time when I was heavily influenced by celeb style, particularly the outfits put together by In Style, Cosmo and Glamour... but as I've invested more time in blogging I have found much more inspiration from within the community than I ever found in the glossies. Celebrity style is unattainable in many cases- I'm not going to drop a wad of cash on a handbag or jeans- but I do see the value in finding inspiration for outfit combinations. I am most inspired by magazines to DIY my own accessories and clothing when I see the costly versions on others, so celeb style inspires me to be more creative with less money, I suppose.

  4. I'm much more influenced by street style. And the stars I do model my own fashion after (Jennifer Anniston for instance) have basic and attainable style, so I don't even count that as celebrity style.

    ps. You were so the first person that guessed the number of butt synonyms right! Why does this not surprise me. You and I are kindred spirits friend.

  5. i love the lace top! i used to go to people.com everyday, or read the gossip magazines, and even reading other blogs made me change the way i dressed. I finally decided i hated dressing for other people, i hated dressing in a way where i didn't feel like it was MY style. I go through stages all the time where i want to change my style up, but ultimately i think it's best to stick with what makes YOU Feel beautiful... and that might just be in a t-shirt and jeans?

  6. That is such a fun way to wear lace!
    I actually find that most style bloggers dress much better than Celebrities...especially when a Celeb isn't doing any sort of promotion. Of course there are some celebrities who do have fabulous style at all times. Perhaps if I had the glamorous lifestyle I would be more influence by them!

    Natasha ~ Required2BeInspired

  7. Visiting from EBEW...
    Yeay, another fashion blogger mommy in her thirties! Nice to meet you.
    I love this lace top with a subtle pop of neon pink under. Great idea. I had just recently placed a neon pink lace bandeau in my cart at F21 website. I will have to get it for sure now.
    I also love your hair color and style!

  8. I'm so out of the loop when it comes to Pop/Celebrity culture. I'm willing to take inspiration from whereever, but I honestly get more inspiration from fashion bloggers these days than anything. I love seeing "real" people wearing what inspires them.

    Your layered lace and stacked bracelets are great. Your hair is amazing!

  9. Amazing lace! Saw it on EBEW and loved it! And Now I am lovin' your blog. Now following!

    Hope you'll follow back!

    Ask the Duplex

  10. I dislike celebrity culture and postulate that celebs copy US. Then they broadcast the zeitgeist and get the credit. I have little interest in the dolls on the red carpet or the now celeb stylists that dress them up.

    I am a firm proponent of the trickle up effect of street culture on the mainstream. And yes, I totally wore underwear as outerwear and peek-a-boo clothing long before Madonna made a headline.

    PS: obviously today I'm wearing cranky pants. But your lace top with peekaboo pink bra looks lovely!

  11. While I do seek style inspiration from others, it is more likely to be from other bloggers or Lucky Mag -- In fact, you top and look reminds me specifically of a top and look that was styled there. One I had hoped to emulate myself. I even looked at that exact top in F21 and considered it as a possibility (but I didn't care for the banded sleeves).

    I can't say that I'm happy to find cheap designer denim - it isn't on my radar. If I could find a great designer bag in a thrift store that might be a different story.

    Chic on the Cheap

  12. I do look at/take ideas from celebs who are the same shape/size as me, but more in a inspired by way than direct copy.

    Bloggers are much more useful to take ideas from though, because then there's a chance I can afford the clothes!

  13. Not at all, I rarely check out what celebrities are wearing. Specially because half of them have stylists and really no sense of personal style. I'm definitely much more inspired by real women I meet and of course fellow style bloggers.

    I haven't found THE perfect pair of jeans so I can't say I'm part of that 48% (really?! W.O.W.).

    I really love that lace top, the way it looks kind of like a sweatshirt but could easily be dressed up.

    I just have to say that I LOVE your hair! I've always coveted those cuts and of course the color.

  14. Love this outfit post! I think you'll love some of the items in our store, Pocketful of Pearls. Check it out if you get a chance. PocketfulofPearls.com

  15. Gosh, these figures are really mind-boggling! Designer jeans??? Fashionista fail, but at the moment I'm proud to say I don't even know what counts as such...

    I do love the feeling when second hand shopping/thrifting just turns out to be fruitful - it does resemble a high. But I wouldn't exchange orgasms for it. :)

    You look great by the way and I love yoour haircut and colour!

  16. More and more I'm beginning to get my fashion inspiration from the blogs I read everyday. Gone are the days of trying to keep up with celebrity style. It's too expensive and besides-they get all of their stuff for free while we have to pay a gazillion dollars for it. It's ok, I'll pass!

    You look absolutely gorgeous btw. Love how you paired the pink under the lace. That's too cute!


  17. This was such a great post- way to wear what you want, and not just follow celebs! The result is great- you look perfect!


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